Couple interesting points:
SGT Lucio got married on leave this year.
SGT(P) Jackson's leave was coordinated to coincide with the birth of his daughter, his fourth child.
All three of these men were on their second tour in combat, SSG Martinez was on this third.
The reason all three NCOs from 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon were in a single vehicle was because the EMs had been running for six days straight, and the NCOs decided to take the escort duty in order to provide them the time to drink their 2 beers on the 10th and get some down time.
The Army is exceedingly good at memorial services. I mean, really good. I wish each of you had the opportunity to see one for yourself, not to hammer away at you or create a sense of guilt, but for the insight into a Soldier's mindset and to see how we say goodbye.
At least we never have to ask why a Soldier died. These three NCOs died in the process of attempting to pick up a wounded infantryman from a Bradley. They pulled up to the damaged vehicle, and the secondary IED went off, destroying their vehicle. Proximate cause.
Root cause, they died because of who and what they were, and they died doing what they loved, in accordance with their calling. Every one of them was a professional who knew the score and knew the risks, and rolled out on mission every day regardless. They set the example for their Soldiers and took care of them the best they knew how.
I'm not saying I'm thrilled or anything like that, but the formal goodbye, the three volleys and the Roll Call, and then the rendering of honors. . .